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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Amigos de La Cruz Continue to Support the Wayland Recovery Fund

Chris Bouchard - Amigos de La Cruz
July 2, 2014

Octopus' Garden in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

I talked to Wayland and Aruna last night. It was nice to hear Wayland’s vocal chords at work again, even if it is a struggle for him. He’s a fighter, that’s for sure. Stubborn you might say. And with the road he has in front of him, that stubborn-ness will be called into play again, I’m sure.

Those of you who know Aruna and Wayland are fully aware of what their Octopus’ Garden means to our wonderful La Cruz. We all have a story of our first impression of the Garden / el Jardin, and I bet many of these stories would start out with words like: welcoming oasis, loving community, accepting refuge, etc.

Wayland and Aruna have welcomed many strays over the years. In my case it was during a burnout-averting sabbatical 5 years ago. Some of us strays have given to Wayland and Aruna, some have taken. Most, I think, have done a little of both. But what really strikes me about them is that they don’t seem to mind which category one falls into. They just welcome you, knowing that Karma is on the job 24/7, and that it’s not their job to judge.  

The Octopus’ Garden is Wayland and Aruna (or have I got that backwards?). It’s where (mostly) expats and snowbirds have gathered over the years to:

• teach Spanish to Gringos and English to Mexicans

• enjoy local music over a meal or a beverage

• raise funds for local charities, or fellow expats in need

• Watch some movie you’d never see at the Multiplex theater

• learn to appreciate the real Mexico - “outside the compounds” of the all-inclusive resorts

• borrow a tool or solicit some advice about fixing something on a boat

• and on and on.....

I can’t imagine La Cruz without the Octopus Garden. (note: this applies to lots of other cool places and people in town - there is something very special about La Cruz - but more about those at another time).

For those of you just tuning in: At this point, the Ballad of Wayland and Aruna is still being written. We’re at the mid-point of the crisis that befell (I wish there was a less awkward word here) them in May of this year. Our stubborn (there’s that word again) Wayland was working in a less-than-safe manner and tumbled from a great height, breaking his neck.

I pause for a moment to implore myself and all the rest of us men (primarily) to please take something out of this cautionary tale. Let’s all take a good look at our birth certificates, subtract our birth year from 2014, and realize that the number is not 21, nor will it ever again be. Please be safe- one never knows when a fifty- or sixty-something knee, ankle, arm (or whatever) will let us down. Literally.

Back to our story. Wayland, under the constant love and care of Aruna and a handful of locals taking shifts, has made some progress. The Wayland Ward, as I like to call it, has been the site of some minor miracles. He is eating solid foods, talking, and moving his arms (and his left leg at least once - I saw it!). Pretty amazing, given what he’s been through.

But he has recently had another setback that requires that he return to hospital. He has another infection, this time related to bedsores. And the thingy in his arm, through which certain medicines go into him, needs a tuneup of some sort as well. And there was something else, what was it?

Oh, yeah: Wayland and Aruna are broke.

Not broke-broke - but - shall we say, very “cash-flow challenged.” They have plenty of un-encumbered real estate and other assets to retire simply on, but selling them, even at fire-sale prices, is not going to happen fast enough to pay the bills. (I feel there is another cautionary tale for us here, but......later)

And now to the crux.  Wayland and Aruna have decided to take a mortgage against the Garden in order to fund the next year or two of their life together, while Wayland continues his recovery and rehabilition. It will take about a week to draw up the papers, and ojala (Mexican for God-willing, more or less) somebody or somebodies will step up to make a secured (via the mortgage on the Octopus’ Garden) loan. They’ve asked me to help get the word out.

But as I mentioned above, Wayland’s medical needs are URGENT. He needs an operation as early as tomorrow, (yup, tomorrow) and Aruna tells me they need about 60,000 pesos - “STAT!”, as they say on those TV medical shows. I’m very conservative about these estimates, so I’m gonna say “call it 100,000” pesos. This is a bridge financing, to be taken out (repaid) immediately from the proceeds of the above-mentioned mortgage. They are not asking for charity - they remain blown away by the support they’ve received to date, both financial and spiritual.

So there you have it. If you can help with the short-term loan (it’ll be on a handshake, like in the old days) or the longer-term mortgage-backed financing, please contact me. For our part, Cindy and I can loan a small-ish portion of the 100K pesos short-term emergency fund.

We trust that there are enough others out there to help get Wayland and Aruna to the next chapter. If you are that somebody, or one of those somebodies, please let me know. You can contact me at chris@domusvallarta.com.

And whether you can help financially or not, Wayland and Aruna sincerely thank you again; for your past assistance and for your continued good vibrations, prayers, and loving support.  

God, I love this town.

PS please forward this to anyone who you think might be able to help.

Chris Bouchard

Read related: Community Benefit for Wayland Recovery Fund at Philo's in La Cruz and Volunteers Needed in La Cruz With Physical Therapy Background

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